i love you as much

This is a letter to my two year old daughter. Sometimes, when so many things are happening, and time seems to be disappearing into a vortex, I write a letter. To remember these good times in our lives.

My dear sweet Giovanna,

You do new things every day. Entertaining things, sweet things, smart things. You are an adventuress. Every morning, you’re at the door, pulling your boots and jacket on, saying “let’s go!” You woke up from your nap yesterday and immediately climbed out of bed, saying “I want to go.” I had the privilege of witnessing this rosy-cheeked disoriented state because I was lying in bed with you. There are benefits to being a little sick, I suppose, such as more time spent sleeping next to you.

Yesterday, in the morning, you pulled on your pink flowered helmet, which you call a hat, and you stood by the door, asking us to “come here” so we could “go.” You rode your kettler tricycle with the push bar almost the whole way to the park, at least 20 minutes, which was your longest ride yet. Emile rode his bicycle some of the time, and some of the time he pushed you on the trike, and some of the time you pushed him. You would have made it the whole way, but then you fell and scraped your knee.

I hate it when you fall down. I hate it when you cry. I hate it when you are sad. Emile says “hate” is a bad word, and I know he’s right. But I still hate to see either of you in pain. When you fight over toys, which you often do, I have to laugh. No matter how many other toys are in the room, stuffed animals and books and crayons that you love, when you’ve both fixated on the same animal or book or crayon, we have trouble. It’s human nature, I suppose, for you and your brother to compete. (Particularly since you both spend about half of your daily lives as only children.) Sometimes, I interject, but mostly, I want you to figure it out for yourself.

The other day, you found a bottle of nail polish on my desk. “Come, mama! Come!” you said, motioning for me to join you downstairs where we could paint nails on the art table. This is the stillest you can be, when you’re getting “nail paint.” We did your fingers and toes, and mine too. I see you admiring your pretty jade-blue nails when you think no one is looking, and I am paralyzed by your delight over a few splashes of color on your body. I can’t move, because if I do, I’m worried I’ll lose that feeling. The feeling that our lives are perfect.

You got a pink tent for your birthday and this afternoon, we filled it with blankets, stuffed animals, and books. You and I and Emile sat in the tent, a brief spot of sunshine found us, and it was a sweet moment. A moment I promise to never forget. We played with puppets and you dressed your baby doll, because that’s what little mamas do. Your interests are unfolding, and when I’m watching closely, I get a glimpse at the little woman you are becoming. It’s like watching all of the gardens in all of the world become lush with life force.

You’ve adopted a new favorite food: chopped nuts. You say “I don’t want to” when you don’t want to. You love to dance, and as Daddy says, you can break it down. I need to get a video of it soon. Watching you dance is better than sleeping. You can count to at least fifteen. You pee and poop on the potty, but not consistently enough to be out of diapers. You run everywhere, and very fast.

You emulate everything I do. You try on my clothes, including my shoes and my underwear. You brush your hair and your teeth, you like to apply lotion and chap stick (and makeup, when I’m not looking and you get your hands on it). You put hair ties around your chubby but tiny wrists. Just like Mama. If I’m wearing gloves, you want to wear gloves. When I saw you carefully lying a wash cloth on the floor before sitting on it, I knew you were remembering last weekend at the pool in California, when we laid on a towel to soak up the sun. You point at letters and try to name them, “A” and “M” being the easiest to identify. It could be a coincidence that these are also the letters that spell Mama, but I don’t think so. You and I, baby girl, we’re two pieces of the same soul.

When I look at your dark eyes, I see your daddy. I see your brother. I see my parents and my siblings and my grandparents and I see more love than I can understand as an earthly being. When those eyes look into my own, my heart melts into thin air, which makes me think that even the air we breathe is sprinkled with love.

I love you as much as the universe is big.

Always,

Mama

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9 thoughts on “i love you as much

  1. This post is as beautiful as she is. I think it is so important to write letters to our babes. Even if they can’t read it now, they will appreciate it so much later.
    (PS. I love that you don’t encourage the word hate. We discourage the use of it in our house too!)

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    1. We don’t enjoy haters around here!! But then again, like I said, there are some things I do hate. It’s not the negative emotions we’re scared of, it’s the use of language that promotes HATE.

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  2. This is such a beautiful letter, Lucy! It’s amazing and humbling how much our little ones are watching us, learning from us how to grow, to live, what to value and believe in.

    That’s awesome that Gigi’s almost potty trained! Are you taking her at different points throughout the day or does she tell you when she’s ready? Nya did the latter twice, but usually I have to remember to just put her on the potty.

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    1. We’re doing the potty training at our own pace. She started to rebel against it, so I backed off. But then today we were out (she was wearing a diaper) and she told me she had to go potty, and she did! So maybe she is ready. It was about half and half though, sometimes she would tell me, sometimes I would sit her on there 🙂

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